John Birch Society--Truth About Civil Turmoil - Various FBI Field Offices
Truth About Civil Turmoil was a John Birch Society front-group formed in July 1965. TACT committees around the country sponsored speeches by JBS members -- although the press releases did not always mention that the Birch Society was behind TACT.
Among the more frequent TACT speakers were: Julia C. Brown, Lola Belle Holmes, Leonard Patterson, Rev. E. Freeman Yearling, Sheriff Jim Clark, and Alvin D. Smith. All but Clark were African-American. However, none of the TACT speakers ever discussed discrimination and oppression of black Americans. Instead, they focused exclusively upon what they claimed was "Communist" influence and control and domination within all our national civil rights organizations and their leaders.
It should be noted that the Birch Society welcomed life-long segregationists into its ranks as members, as chapter leaders, as Coordinators, as speakers and writers, and as National Council members. It was especially appealing to the White Citizens Council movement and other white supremacist organizations and, in fact, many senior officials of the White Citizens Councils movement were JBS members.
For a detailed critique of the JBS position about our civil rights movement, see chapter 6 of my JBS Report (link below)
BIRCH SOCIETY POSITION ON OUR CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
In the June 1965 JBS Bulletin, JBS founder, Robert Welch, observed:
"Our task must be simply to make clear that the movement known as 'civil rights' is Communist-plotted, Communist-controlled, and in fact...serves only Communist purposes."
In August 1965, the JBS ran a full-page ad in many U.S. newspapers entitled “What’s Wrong With Civil Rights?” One of the answers provided by the JBS was:
“For the civil rights movement in the United States with all of its growing agitation and riots and bitterness, and insidious steps toward the appearance of civil war, has not been infiltrated by the Communists, as you now frequently hear. It has been deliberately and almost wholly created by the Communists patiently building up to this present stage for more than thirty years.” [HQ 62-104401, serial #2621, 8/31/65 airtel from SAC Birmingham to J. Edgar Hoover with attachment of ad from Sunday 8/29/65 Birmingham AL News.]
In the November 1965 JBS Bulletin, page 44, Robert Welch declared:
“We have said many times, and we repeat now, that if you can fully expose the 'civil rights' fraud, you will break the back of the Communist conspiracy. But the word ‘fully’ is important in that sentence. It calls for bringing a preponderant majority of our fellow citizens really to grasp the fact that the ‘civil rights’ program has been designed by Communists, is controlled by Communists, and will be used by the Communists as a vital part of their total strategy for taking over our country.”
In the November 1965 JBS Bulletin, Mr. Welch strongly recommended Alan Stang's book entitled It's Very Simple: The True Story of Civil Rights because, in Welch's words, "It gives the whole picture of the 'civil rights' development, as a part of Communist strategy, more completely and convincingly than anything else available."
Again, in May 1966, Mr. Welch used the JBS Bulletin to heap praise upon Stang’s book:
"This book, because of its thoroughness, its comprehensive coverage of the whole 'civil rights' story, and its meticulous documentation, is the best single searchlight we have for exposing the 'civil rights' fraud."
According to Alan Stang, the “civil rights movement was not only planned by the Communists, but was begun, is staffed, and is conducted by the Communists—and has only one real purpose: the destruction and communization of America.”
BY CONTRAST, THE FBI POSITION:
"Let me emphasize that the American civil rights movement is not, and has never been dominated by the communists--because the overwhelming majority of civil rights leaders in this country, both Negro and white, have recognized and rejected communism as a menace to the freedoms of all." [J. Edgar Hoover speech, 12/12/64, Our Heritage of Greatness, pg 7 - Hoover speech before Pennsylvania Society and the Society of Pennsylvania Women; bold emphasis on "not" and "never" in original document].
In November 1966, Hoover received an inquiry from a self-identified JBS member who saw the above quote in a letter-to-the-editor of his local newspaper and he wanted to know if the quote was an accurate reflection of Hoover’s judgment both in 1964 and 1966. Hoover replied affirmatively and concluded: “This position remains essentially unchanged today.” [HQ 62-104401-3021, 11/15/66 Hoover reply to incoming Bircher inquiry].
Also see following Hoover comments :
“It would be absurd to suggest that the aspirations of Negroes for equality are communist inspired. This is demonstrably not true…” [J. Edgar Hoover speech, Faith In Freedom, 12/4/63, page 6].
“In general, legitimate civil rights organizations have been successful in excluding Communists, although a few have received covert counseling from them and have even accepted them as members…The CP is not satisfied with this situation and is continually striving to infiltrate the civil rights movement at every level. " [J. Edgar Hoover, U.S. News and World Report, 11/1/65, page 46].
“It is no secret that one of the bitterest disappointments to communistic efforts in this Nation has been their failure to lure our Negro citizens into the party. Despite every type of propaganda boomed at our Nation’s Negro citizens, they have never succumbed to the party’s saccharine promises of a Communist ‘Utopia’. This generation and generations to come for many years owe a tremendous debt to our Negro citizens who have consistently refused to surrender their freedoms for the tyranny of communism.” J. Edgar Hoover testimony before U.S. Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, 01/17/60, reprinted in March 1960 FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, page 7]
As these comments make clear, Hoover and the FBI saw Communists as OUTSIDERS seeking ways to exert influence and control within the civil rights movement whereas the JBS falsely portrayed them as INSIDERS who created and controlled the movement from the beginning.
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